Royapuram

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Royapuram
இராயபுரம்
neighbourhood
Royapuram fishing harbour
Royapuram fishing harbour
Royapuram is located in Chennai
Royapuram
Royapuram
Coordinates: 13°06′15″N 80°17′37″E / 13.10403°N 80.29366°E / 13.10403; 80.29366Coordinates: 13°06′15″N 80°17′37″E / 13.10403°N 80.29366°E / 13.10403; 80.29366
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Chennai
Metro Chennai
Languages
 • Official Tamil
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 600 013
Vehicle registration TN-04

Royapuram is a locality in the Northern part of Chennai City, Tamil Nadu, most known for the Royapuram Railway Station, the first railway station of south India opened in 1856, and is today the oldest surviving railway station of the Indian subcontinent [1]

History[edit]

Royapuram Railway Station, opened in 1856

Royapuram is the place where the first railway station of south India was constructed. The second railway line of the South Asia was commenced from here in the 1850s. This railway line extended from Royapuram (Madras) to Arcot, the then capital of the Carnatic region. This station was inaugurated on 28 June 1856 by the then Governor Lord Harris and the railway line was opened for traffic on 1 July 1856. The first train, manufactured by Simpson and Company, started its journey with 300 people from Royapuram to Wallajabad. The station covers about 76 acres. Royapuram railway station building, which was previously in a dilapidated condition,[2] has now been refurbished. It is believed to be one of oldest surviving railway station structures of the Indian Railways.

Royapuram has a deep history inculcated within itself and has been part of the Chennai (Madras) city for centuries. It is just in the face of the recent developments that Royapuram got edged out to the periphery of the Chennai.

Location[edit]

Royapuram stretches from Clive battery (old Northern Rampart of Black Town Wall) at one end to Kasimedu at the other end.

Demographics[edit]

It is primarily a fisherman community area migrated from Chepauk village in 1799 during East India Company's government. It has a fine blend of people from various ethnic groups as well. Royapuram retains its specialty as the principal suburb of the Parsi community of Madras. Previously Royapuram was a home to many Anglo Indians.[3] But today their numbers are very low since people migrated to other parts of city or to other countries.

It has a beautiful church known as St. Peter's Church built in 1829 by the boat people of Christian Community migrated from Chepauk in 1799, the Customs House and Master Attendants's Office were shifted to Black Town from Fort St. George in 1799. In consequent to the removal of Customs House and Master Attendant's Office to Black Town, the then Marine Board which was under the control of British East India Company, alloted lands to Christian boat people who were staying at Chepauk village, 300 yards away from the North Black Town Wall to settle in the new villaage. They built a small chapel in the year 1780. The boat people regularly paying toll to Marine Board. The Boat people withdrawn money from the Marine Board and built the present church in the year 1829 This church is popularly called as 'Madha Kovil' by non-Christians.

Landmarks[edit]

The Chennai's Port Trust located on the shores of Royapuram. The legendary Robinson Park renamed as Arignar Anna Poonga after late chief minister of Tamil Nadu Arignar Anna is located here. This park has witnessed various historic activities such as the birth of DMK and lot of public rallies during the early part of the 1950s and 1960s. Now it has been transformed into a green park with lot of facilities for walkers.

There is a Government Home for Destitute Boys in Mannarsami Koil Street. The home is one of eight in Tamil Nadu, which detains, protects, and cares for "runaway and missing children, begging children, victims of child labour, children surrendered by parents, and NGO handover children", and at any moment in time this home houses 125–150 children. Children with no other option of family care normally stay at the home until they are 18.

There are places of religious interests such as Kalmandapam Shafia Mosque at Shaik Maistry Street, Muslim Welfare Association for Muslims. Kalmandapam Temple for Hindus, and St. Mary's Church for Christians.

Some of the educational institutions here are K.C. Sankaralinga Nadar Hr. Sec. School, PAK Palanisamy Hr.Sec School, St. Peter's Higher secondary school, Kalaimagal Viddyalaya Hr.Sec School, St. Kevin's School, Northwick Girls' School situated at Shaik Maistry Street, Murugadanishkodi Girls Hr. Sec. School, CSI Rajagopal School, Maria Matriculation School, St. Anne's Girls' School, St. Mary's Matriculation School, and Dhanalakshmi Hr. Sec. School.

Politics[edit]

Royapuram vote
by alliance in assembly elections
Year All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
2006 53.3% 50,647 39.1% 37,144
2001 56.8% 44,465 39.3% 30,753
1996 35.4% 27,485 57.8% 44,893
1991 59.0% 46,218 37.8% 29,565
1989* 8.0% 6,532 46.0% 37,742
1984 50.3% 40,727 48.7% 39,432
1980 49.1% 36,455 50.3% 37,390
1977 31.3% 22,626 33.5% 24,217

State assembly politics[edit]

Royapuram constituency was won by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the 1977 and 1980 elections. ADMK's vote share has considerably increased in the region since 1984 when MGR and ADMK swept Tamil Nadu. Ever since then, other than 1989 and 1996, this constituent has consistently voted for the formation of the ADMK government at the state level. In 1989, ADMK was split between Janaki faction and Jayalalithaa faction, and only the Janaki faction contested in this constituency. More recently, when DMK and allies were able to win the election in 2006, ADMK still did extremely well in this constituency, with D. Jayakumar, winning for 3rd time, out of the last four times he contested, losing only in 1996.

Lok Sabha politics[edit]

Royapuram assembly constituency is part of Chennai North (Lok Sabha constituency).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The train to Royapuram". Mint (newspaper). May 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The South's first station". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). 26 February 2003. Retrieved 19 Nov 2011. 
  3. ^ Swahilya (20 August 2007). "Royapuram residents complain of choking air". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 26 Oct 2011. 
  4. ^ "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies". Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-08.